THE PESO climbed further on Friday on the back of optimism on a trade deal between the United States and China.
The local unit finished at P51.58 against the greenback on Friday, gaining six centavos from its P51.64-to-a-dollar close on Thursday.
Week on week, it strengthened by 15 centavos from the P51.73 close last Oct.4.
The peso started the session at P51.55 versus the dollar. Its worst showing for the session was at P51.615, while its intraday best was at P51.475 against the greenback.
Dollars traded on Friday dropped to $981.25 million from the $1.158 billion logged on Thursday.
“The peso’s strength was on the back of positive developments coming from the US and China trade talks which commenced on Thursday. Corporate demand resurfaced which brought down the peso to a strong close,” a trader said in a phone call.
Aside from optimism due to the US-China trade talks, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael L. Ricafort attributed the peso’s performance to better global risk appetite.
“Global market sentiment also improved on possible direction towards a Brexit deal before the October 31 deadline for UK (United Kingdom) to leave the EU (European Union),” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message.
Top US and Chinese negotiators wrapped up a first day of trade talks in more than two months on Thursday as business groups expressed optimism the two sides might be able to ease a 15-month trade war and delay a US tariff hike scheduled for next week.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer met with Vice Premier Liu He and other senior Chinese officials for about seven hours at the USTR’s headquarters near the White House.
“We had a very, very good negotiation with China,” US President Donald Trump told reporters after the talks concluded. He reiterated his plans to meet with Liu at the White House on Friday, regarded as a good sign.
Meanwhile, the chief Brexit negotiators of the EU and Britain met for breakfast on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart unexpectedly said they had found a pathway to a possible deal at last-ditch talks. — L.W.T. Noble with Reuters